Princes Park murder: Friends pay tribute to comedian
FRIENDS have paid tribute to aspiring comedian Eurydice Dixon, whose body was found in a Carlton North soccer field.
A teenager is due to face court today charged with her rape and murder.
Talented Ms Dixon, aged in her 20s, had performed at the most recent Melbourne International Comedy Festival as part of the Free Comedy showcase at Highlander Bar.
Friend Kieran Butler said Ms Dixon was a talented comedian and was spending time with Ms Dixon's devastated family today.
"I'd been mentoring and working with her on and off for the last three years. I thought she was going to break new ground through in the next five to ten years," Mr Butler.
"I told her that to her face about 25 times. She was so young, she had time on her side.
"She was good at undermining the things she believed in, she was that sort of comic."
Ms Dixon had also completed a run of solo stand-up comedy gigs in March titled At Home, I Feel Like a Tourist.
No known links between accused and victim
A 19-year-old from Broadmeadows surrendered himself at Broadmeadows police station last night, after police released CCTV footage of a man they believed could help with the investigation.
The teenager has been charged with one count each of murder and rape, and will appear in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court later today.
Police said they didn't believe there was a relationship between the woman and accused.
Police circulated images of the man about 16 hours after a passer-by made the grisly find.
Homicide squad investigators looked into the movements of everyone who was in the area in the period before the woman's death, and have made an intensive examination of CCTV.
But today police said the CCTV vision released to the media on Wednesday was captured in Melbourne's CBD - not in Carlton North.
Homicide Squad detective inspector Andrew Stamper did not say when the footage was captured.
The man in the footage - burly, bearded and wearing a grey hoodie and carrying a blue backpack - is shown leaning against a pole around the time the body was found in Princes Park at 2.40am on Wednesday.
The hoodie has the letters MX on the front. The man was wearing blue jeans and dark shoes.
Sex attack nearby not thought to be related
The body was found just hours before police made a public plea for information about a sexual predator who is wanted over a random late-night ambush on a woman early on March 28.
The attack occurred less than 1km away from the location of the March assault, with police saying yesterday they are unable to rule out links between the crimes.
In that incident "Jessie", 21, was walking along Gatehouse St, near the Bayles Crescent intersection, about 2.35am when a man grabbed her from behind in a bear hug and slipped his hand up her skirt.
Jessie, who is from Washington DC, screamed and the man tried to cover her mouth. Several nearby residents heard her and he fled.
Anyone with information on that case is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Det Insp Stamper told media this morning police were "quite confident" the two matters were unrelated.
"We've obviously have been very mindful of that overnight. At this stage we are quite confident that the two matters are unrelated, however we still maintain an open mind in relation to that," he said.
"The two aren't connected, which unfortunately leaves us with the prospect there is an outstanding offender out there."
Det Insp Stamper said: "for operational reasons a decision was made to do that media release (on the March sexual assault in Carlton) yesterday … which was already booked in before that incident (the alleged murder) happened."
"We just believe at the moment that was a coincidence."
Locals urged to take care
Senior police said local patrols would be increased and warned people using the park, which locals say is poorly lit, to be vigilant.
"Take responsibility for your safety," Superintendent David Clayton said.
The soccer pitch was cordoned off and running tracks closed as detectives and forensic examiners spent almost 12 hours on a painstaking search for clues. State Emergency Service volunteers conducted a line search as shocked residents watched.
Police analysed a bicycle and a bag found nearby but it is not known whether they were linked to the crime.
A pair of black shoes lay metres away from the body. It was not clear who they belonged to.
Princes Park a popular local running route
SEVERAL female joggers and walkers at the park yesterday told the Herald Sun they were terrified to hear women were being targeted in the area.
Mary, who has lived in the area for 23 years, said the crime was "incredibly worrying" and she would hesitate to come to the park alone again.
"It's disconcerting to think something like this happened in this community.
"We grew up coming to this park … you just don't see this thing," she said.
Mary, who often visits the park with her 10-year-old son, said the park was mostly used by locals because of its isolated position.
She said it was not uncommon for university students to cut through the park on their way home but noted the trams which operate along Royal Parade did not run past midnight, so it was unlikely the park was busy when the woman was found just before 3am.
One young woman walking in the park said she had been using the popular running track almost daily while her local gym was undergoing renovations.
"It's terrifying … my heart breaks for that poor woman and her family," she said.
The local resident said she received a frantic text message from a friend on Wednesday who was concerned she may have been the victim.
"She knew I ran this track and wanted to check I was OK - everyone is nervous now," she said.
Several locals have said the street lights which border the running track are rarely - if ever - turned on.
Carlton local Lucy Williams, who left flowers at the scene, said she was shocked by the tragedy.
"I don't know who the victim is but it could have been any of us. It could have been one of my friends," she said.
"I just felt I should stop by and leave something."